I picked up Crusader Kings II (CK) off Steam this weekend. It’s been a game I’ve wanted to play for some time, but figured it would be a $5 Steam sale game sooner or later. I paid full price for the all-DLC bundle, so I fully expect a 50% sale this weekend. That’s how those things always work, but happily CK has so far been worth the price.
I love these types of sim games, where the level of detail is silly and the systems are so complex that they make the EVE UI look like WoW. You literally spend the first few hours playing without knowing wtf is going on, and even now I’m sure I’m missing some major stuff. And I played ALL of the tutorials.
CK is in many ways a “watch what happens” type of game rather than a click-and-play game. I can’t really explain it well, other than to say that when ‘playing’ CK, you might not click or interact with the game for minutes at a time, and when you do click it’s usually to execute one action and go back to watching/waiting. It’s literally the furthest thing from a twitch game in every sense. Now I love that style, but I can very easily see how it would bore most gamers to tears.
Which is not to suggest that CK is light on decisions and strategy, because it has both in spades. And many of those decisions are long, LONG term ones; stuff that might not kick in or matter for decades of in-game time. Other actions have instant repercussions, and not ones that are easily predicted.
Speaking of decades, to me the coolest aspect of CK is that you don’t just play one ruler, but the heirs as well when you pass away. And believe me, you will pass away. CK is very accurate in that regard, and there are LOTS of different ways for people to die. Having children is key, and setting the laws how you need them to continue your kingdom/progress is critical as well. As blood lines mix, alliances form and break, kingdoms reform, and old enemies become friends. It’s all very cool to just watch, and even cooler when you ‘get it’ and start lining things up to take advantage of them.
If you still have no idea what kind of game CK really is, I’m sorry. Someone asked me on vent what game it’s most like, and after mumbling some nonsense for a bit, I just gave up. It sorta plays like Sim City, if you replace the “make buildings” part with “run a kingdom”. If you as the major could die. And have neighboring cities invade you. Sorta…
All I know is, CK so far is great at what it does.
Just don’t ask me what exactly it’s doing, because I’m still not sure…